I spent the weekend in Colorado. I left work early on Thursday, came home, changed clothes and, right on time, my parents and brother picked me up and we drove to LAX. Our plane didn't leave until, like, 7:40p, but my mother was adamant that we be early. Also tagging along were Hannah (4) and Mia (2), so there was much to look after as we sat in the terminal and after our arrival at Denver International.
There is a lot to explain here, even if you know me really well. Hannah and Mia are Sheila's kids. Sheila was the assistant to my family's financial advisor for years, and she developed a personal relationship with my brother and sister and father and mother while she was assisting this advisor guy. Then my sister went to work for this guy and she and Sheila worked together for a while. Since then, she has started coming to family parties, etc. you know: big events like barbecues and things. From there, my parents being who they are, it progressed. The job with financial advisor guy was crap, I guess, and Sheila's husband (who was a med student) left her or was cheating on her or something like that, and here she is with these two young girls who are both very cute. And being that she had such a close relationship with my family, they sort of adopted her. So Sheila is now Mike's personal assistant. (He really does need one.) And Sheila comes to something they call "family dinner" every week, something I rarely go to... and to which I wasn't even invited for about three months. They eat at like 5:30p because of the kids and I work far away otherwise I might go, but it's not like they even cook: they order pizza or Chili's-to-Go or something like that.
At any rate, Mia and Hannah are now the de-facto grandchildren (we all assume it will be a while before I have any... and Michael doesn't look like he's settling down anytime soon either.) And--this is the part that makes me a little uncomfortable--Sheila calls my mother and father "Mom" and "Dad." I'm not the jealous type and it's really not that big of a deal, but it's actually started to bug Mike and Debs, who have begun to rethink the whole "adopting Sheila into the family" thing. (It's way too late for second thoughts, by the way: my parents are totally gung ho.)
So we went to Colorado. Deborah and Sheila drove to Monument, where the house is, and Dad, Mom, Mike, Hannah, Mia and I flew out on Thursday night for a brief sojourn at the new family house out there. Mike and Dad went 50/50 and bought this place--which is huge--in this little suburb in the Rockies. It's not really even a suburb. At least, the suburbs aren't the same out there. This town is 20 minutes from anything else and about 60 minutes from Denver. It was, actually, really nice. It was calm and peaceful. The house is nice. I relaxed a lot. We had a lot of games (family time, you know.) I cooked dinner every night, which I thought was a little strange, but they all kind of expected it.
And I took Michael to the Broadmoor where we both got exorbitantly expensive Swedish massages at the spa there. (That, you can probably guess, was the highlight of my trip.)
Weirdest Sheila moment. She met some neighbors or something and because the neighbors out there are all Chatty Cathys and want to know who owns the house and who is moving in and all of that business, they are talking to Sheila. She is telling us the story of meeting them and she says, "So I said to them, 'I'm the oldest and my mom and dad are here and my brother and dad bought the house about six months ago.'" Etc. etc. The story was about how the neighbors had mistakenly thought that "two men from California" had purchased the house ("not that there's anything wrong with that") and Sheila put them straight that it was her dad and brother who had bought the house. Aside from the underlying homophobia in the tale, what stood out to me was the whole "I'm the oldest" part. It was a little like identity theft. I felt like she stole my life for just a second. Mike made a joke about it later and then my dad brought the joke up again a day or two later, so I know the family thinks she's being a little bit presumptuous, but I was still a bit taken aback.
Yeah, long story. So I have returned. I did yoga this morning. I am going to try to do better with my health. I don't know. I always make resolutions when I travel, and I suppose that's always a good thing.
CONGRATULATIONS are in order to my friend Allan. Leave the man a comment if you read this entry.
And call me. I'm here and I have my evenings free, people. We can go to the cinema or grab a beer or something.